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Continued: At State Capitol, a billion-dollar discipline won't house the homeless

  • Article by: LORI STURDEVANT , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 3, 2014 - 6:17 PM

You need to know that some of the projects ahead of Dorothy Day have been in the state’s bonding queue for eight years. First-time pleaders are often advised to come again.

Is that the advice Minnesotans want to give sick people who sleep night after night on a floor mat, and are sometimes turned away for lack of space? Or would Minnesotans rather tell legislators that now, while interest rates are still low, is a fine time for a bonding bill bigger than $850 million?

Hausman says she would happily make it bigger. But she needs eight Republican votes in the House to meet bonding’s supermajority threshold. In the Senate — whose bill is due for release this week — two GOP votes are required. And GOP leaders reiterated last week that their caucus members won’t vote for a bonding bill that breaks through the artificial $1 billion ceiling for the two-year cycle that they set last year.

A billion dollars looked like a big bonding total 20 years ago. I’d invite legislators to stand in the dinner queue in a cold rain outside Dorothy Day and see how it looks today.

 

Lori Sturdevant, an editorial writer and columnist, is at lsturdevant@startribune.com.

  • related content

  • George Smith was among the people staying at the Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul in May 2013. He and his wife had lost their housing after health problems.

  • The Dorothy Day Center transforms itself every few hours from a drop-in center to a community cafeteria to an overnight shelter.

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